The National September 11 Memorial Visit

by Rosemarie John on April 5, 2012

Located at the World Trade Center site, commonly known as Ground Zero, the National September 11 Memorial is a place of tranquillity amidst the bustling Financial District of New York. A location that was once a grim plot of rubble, debris and human remains has transformed into a peaceful place for remembering the precious lives that were lost eleven years ago.

A tribute of remembrance and honour to nearly 3000 people who were killed in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 as well as the six people killed in the World Trade Center bombing in February 1993, the National September 11 Memorial  is a place of great importance and reflection not only to the families who have lost loved ones in the attacks but to everybody who genuinely wish the world rid of malice.

Though many visitors flock to the memorial purely as some form of “must see” tourist destination from their bucket list just cause it’s talked about so often, people tend to forget that many visitors among them are actually there to pay their respects and place flowers on the names of those they have lost. More than a tourist attraction, the enormity of suffering as well as human kindness that transpired in about eight acres of land makes it a place of deeper meaning.

With the names of every individual who died in the attacks inscribed into bronze parapets that edge the Memorial pools, a powerful reminder of the largest loss of life resulting from a foreign attack on American soil along with the greatest single loss of rescue personnel in American history stays vivid in your mind. The design of the names parapet provides a direct relationship between the visitor, the names and the water, allowing for a feeling of quiet reverence.

The Memorial’s twin reflecting pools are each nearly an acre in size and feature the largest man-made waterfalls in North America. Sitting within the footprints where the Twin Towers once stood, architect Michael Arad and landscape architect Peter Walker created the Memorial design based on a selection from a global design competition that included more than 5200 entries from 63 nations.

Designed to be a place of meditation among a field of trees, visitors stand at the water’s edge looking at a pool of water that flows away into an abyss of large voids that are open and visible reminders of absence.  As more than 400 trees are planned to surround the Memorial’s two reflecting pools, its design conveys a spirit of hope and renewal while also creating a contemplative space separate from the usual sights and sounds of a buzzing metropolis.

The Memorial also houses a 110,000 square feet museum that serve as the country’s principal institution for examining the implications of the events of 9/11, documenting the impact of those events and exploring the continuing significance of September 11, 2001. Equipped with multimedia displays, archives, narratives and a collection of monumental and authentic artefacts, visitors will also have the opportunity to learn about the men, women and children who died, commemorating the lives of every victim of the 2001 and 1993 attacks.

Next door to the memorial, construction continues on 1 World Trade Center that will soon be the nation’s tallest building at 1776 feet.

Representing the destruction and renewal of life in its own way, the National September 11 Memorial is a lovely place to visit for those who share its sentiments.

Visiting Tips

You need to reserve a pass before heading down to the memorial. The easiest way to do it, is through their online site –  Click here to reserve a pass The pass is free to anyone who wishes to visit. It is important to Visit the Before You Arrive Page to learn more information about security screening, rules and regulations and hours of operation that will help you plan your visit to the 9/11 Memorial.

The 9/11 Memorial is located at the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan. Visitors can access the Memorial by presenting a visitor pass at the 9/11 Memorial Entry at the northwest corner of Albany and Greenwich Streets. Click here to view map. You can opt to visit the memorial either during the day or at night with last entry at 7pm from March 11 to October 8, 2012.

Head to the entry point at least 40 minutes before your actual time mentioned in your pass as visitors will have to follow a dedicated access route from the entry to the 9/11 Memorial. This exterior route is about 800 feet long and passes through an indoor security screening space before moving again outside the Memorial. All visitors and baggage are subject to security screening. This includes medical necessity baggage, infant care baggage, and all personal mobility equipment and vehicles.

Visit their official site for more information on getting there.

Donate & Get Involved

As all donations and sponsorships are dedicated to developing and sustaining the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, sponsor a cobblestone or even become a charter member to help build a lasting place for remembrance, reflection and learning for years to come.

It a great feeling to be part of something so meaningful as I pledged $25 when I was reserving my pass for my visit to the site. It felt great when I received my Certificate of Appreciation in the mail. For it to be sent to me all the way to Singapore made me realise how much my small donation could make a difference. If you’re looking to contribute to a good cause, here are ways you could choose to donate.

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